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Unit 4 Practice Problems --General Waves and Sound

For all problems, assume the speed of sound in air is 343 m/s and the speed of all electromagnetic
waves is 3 x 108 m/s unless otherwise noted
v f







v vo

f = f
v vs

A radio wave, a form of electromagnetic wave, has a frequency of 99.5 MHz (99.5 x 106 Hz).
What is its wavelength?3.0m
Sound with a frequency of 261.6 Hz travels through water at a speed of 1435 m/s. Find its
wavelength in water. 5.5m
Find the frequency of a sound wave moving in air at room temperature with a wavelength of 0.667
m. 514 Hz
Water waves in a shallow dish are 10 cm long. The water oscillates up and down at a rate of 4.8
oscillations per second.
a. What is the speed that the waves move through the water? .48m/s
b. What is their period? .21sec
Water waves in a lake travel 6.2m in 2.3 s. Their period of oscillation is 1.8s.
a. What is the speed that the waves move through the water? 2.7m/s
b. What is their wavelength? 4.9m
The human ear can detect sounds with frequencies between 20 Hz and 16 kHz. Find the largest
and smallest wavelengths the ear can detect in room temperature air. 17m to .021m
What is the frequency of a sound in room temperature air if it has a wavelength of 38 cm? of 7.6
cm? 130Hz, 4500Hz
A sound wave produced by a clock chime 515 m away is heard 1.60 s later.
a. What is the speed of sound in the surrounding air? 320m/s
b. The sound wave has a frequency of 436 Hz. What is its period? .0023 sec
c. What is its wavelength? .74m
A hiker shouts toward a vertical cliff 685 m away. The echo is heard 4.00 s later.
a. What is the speed of sound in the surrounding air? 343m/s
b. The wavelength of the sound is 0.750 m. What is its frequency? 457 Hz
c. What is the period of the wave? .0022 sec
A sonar unit on a submarine sends out a pulse of sound into seawater. The pulse returns 2.78 s
later. What is the distance between the object and the submarine? The speed of sound in seawater
is 1522 m/s. 2120m
A certain color light wave has a wavelength of 580 nm.
a. What is the wavelength of the light in meters? 5.8 E-7m
b. What is the frequency of the wave? 5.2 E14 Hz (5.2E5 GigaHz)
A long spring runs across the floor of a room and out the door. A pulse is sent along the spring.
After a few seconds, an inverted pulse returns. Is the spring attached to the wall in the next room
or is it lying loose on the floor? Waves that reflect off denser media are inverted.
If you want to increase the wavelength of waves in a rope, should you shake it at a higher or lower
frequency? Lower frequency
If the pitch of sound increases, what happens to its:
a. Frequency? Higher (pitch is frequency)
b. Wavelength? shorter
c. Velocity? Doesnt change (you couldnt have harmony if high and low pitches
traveled different speeds, no choir, orchestra, or even musical accompaniment)
d. Amplitude? No change
As a wave moves from a medium with a high wave velocity to one with a smaller wave velocity,
which of the following CANNOT/WONT change: frequency, amplitude, wavelength, velocity,
direction? Frequency wont change, because it is determined by the pulse that makes the
wave, not the medium. All other factors do change, because the medium is changing.